Grocery giant Kroger has expanded a partnership with robotics firm Nuro, which will work to expand its autonomous delivery service.
This service has previously been used in Scottsdale, Arizona. The excellent results convinced Kroger to expand and implement it in Houston, Texas as well.
The robotics company Nuro has been around since 2016. Its product is the R1 self-contained electric commercial vehicle designed to transport small loads on public roads. For the first time, Nuro's negotiations with Kroger became known back in August 2018. Initially, self-propelled Prius hybrids were used for delivery, in which an operator was present for safety net. It is stated that over the past months, thousands of deliveries have been made using autonomous cars, which have shown their reliability. At the same time, not only the delivery of goods was carried out, but also the automatic control system was debugged, which is used in Nuro R1. However, it should be noted that R1 is still controlled by operators, just remotely.
The delivery scheme is as follows - the consumer makes a purchase on the Internet, after which the order is loaded on R1 and delivered to the specified address. To open the trunk, the customer must enter the code that he previously receives on the mobile application. Now the residents of Houston will be able to take advantage of the latest achievements of civilization.
Also earlier this month, autonomous delivery systems specialist Starship Technologies announced that it had already made 50,000 commercial deliveries using its designs. The company's robots can deliver within a radius of 5 km, carrying a variety of goods - from parcels to food. Offline delivery is slowly becoming commonplace.